Article written by Tuffcub.
Published on 26/05/2012 at 09:00 AM.
Yesterday was an exciting day behind the scenes at TSA – emails were flying back and forth between us. Emails that are written in CAPITAL LETTERS and have excessive usage of exclamation marks. We’re probably completely wrong on every count, but it’s the weekend, and we don’t care.
We have a theory and we’re going to tell you why we think you will never buy a PlayStation 4.
It all started when it was pretty much confirmed that some sort of streaming service was to arrive on PS3. This lead me to recall Nanea Reeves, chief product officer for Gaikai, saying – or at least this is how we read the comment – that there would not be a ‘next gen’ console from Sony or Microsoft.
At this point pieces of the puzzle began to slot in to place and a couple of us had the same idea at the same time.
Gaikai currently streams full PC games to your desktop. Could they do the same for PS3?
What if Sony show something new, something we had not considered before, something other than the PlayStation 4.
What if there is a PlayStation Streaming Console?
A cheap little box with a built in PlayStation Eye and Move controller that only streams services, basically a PlayStation version of Gaikai which we shall dub ‘PlayStation Lite’. Sony could sell it for £100 or less along with a subscription service which allows you to play any PlayStation game you like.
You’ll remember Microsoft recently issued a $99 console, with a subscription based model.
Current PlayStation 3 owners can get the new service as part of PlayStation Plus, albeit possibly as an extra tier in the pricing, which might go some way to explain a few comments from SCEE folk on Twitter of late – maybe if you’re already a Plus subscriber come E3 you get the streaming for no extra cost.
Sony make all their profit from PlayStation via the games, hardware takes years before it becomes profitable so by using Gaikai technology and cheap off the shelf parts Sony could be in profit immediately from the launch of the PS Lite.
What of the PlayStation 4? Well there have been so many rumours flying around we could guess that 2013 will see the launch of a top end PlayStation 4 console. If you like buying games as physical products then you can buy the console and happily feed Blu-ray XL discs into its drive.
The PS3. In theory it could play (stream) PS4 games. Think about it.
Sony can make hardware (and price it accordingly – i.e. bloody expensive) to those who want it, everyone else can switch on their PlayStation 3 and skip the expense and hassle of upgrading. The bank of PS4s down at Sony HQ will power the games, and stream them to your PS3 just like Gaikai does.
Sony might even miss the PlayStation 4 hardware phase altogether, that seems to be what Nanea Reeves was suggesting back in January. Skipping the costly first half of its life, when they’re selling at a loss and allowing half their users to stream on cheap hardware would be a huge money-spinner for them early on in the new console’s life.
The more we have thought about our little theory, the more things have slotted in to place. Barely a day goes by without Sony announcing a game, hell they’ve announced the next God Of War, surely that would have been a tent pole E3 announcement? Why are Sony clearing all the games out of the way in advance of E3?
Also, what’s up the the ridiculous amount of PSN maintenance? It’s been going offline for a day at a time, they must be doing something pretty major behind the scenes, getting ready for streaming perhaps?
We could be wrong – and we probably are – but turning the PS3 (and not forgetting the PS Vita) into a streaming service for the PS4 makes a hell of a lot of business sense for Sony, even if it might not make sense to gamers.
Over to you dear readers, are we mad as a box of soapy frogs or could we – just maybe – be on to something?